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Trip Report How to Break a Disney Curse in Three Easy Steps: 1) Two Chipmunks 2) The Dapper Dans 3) The Best Mom Ever

Spash007

Well-Known Member
I got the wine slushy too, because so many people on here said that the slushy in the Orange Bird cup was gross. But, ironically, I actually really liked it! To me, it tasted like a vaguely warm “milkshake” using Kohr’s Brothers creamsicle frozen custard as the base (any Kohr’s fans out there?!). And since I love that flavor, I liked this.
✋ I love me some Kohr’s! We’re going to Cape May/Wildwood in about a month and can’t wait to get some!
 

carriehpotter

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
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We bring trays too! So much easier than trying to carry all those cardboard food containers plus drinks to your trash receptacle/dining table of choice!
Definitely! I imagine a lot of people bring some sort of tray, so that made the CM's reaction even funnier :hilarious:

Boy, those food and drink options looked yummy!
They were so good! Especially that wine slushy. Mmmmm.... :hungry:

✋ I love me some Kohr’s! We’re going to Cape May/Wildwood in about a month and can’t wait to get some!
Awesome! Cape May is one of our favorite vacation spots! We like Wildwood, too, but we love Cape May's Victorian charm :)
 

carriehpotter

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
APRIL 7, SUNDAY: CHECK-IN DAY AND EPCOT Part 5

After cooling off for a while and eating snacks CMs brought around and drinking a whole ton of water (I love the Coke Freestyle machines they offer at the DVC lounge, and my mom definitely took advantage getting her weird orange Diet Coke, but I was feeling really dehydrated so I stuck with just a bunch of cups of good ole H2O), we grudgingly decide to move on (it’s so light and airy in there, so tough to leave!). I took just a quick pic of the Figment topiary outside of the Imagination Pavilion, because we were on a mission! I wanted to get one of my must-try F&G snacks.

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Our next stop was Northern Bloom, the F&G booth near Canada to get the Griddled Maple Pound Cake with Warm Peach Compote and Sweet Corn Gelato featuring Burton’s Maple Syrup.” I debated getting one of the many yummy sounding drinks, too (like the Maple Popcorn Shake with Crown Royal Maple Whiskey), but it was a little too hot for alcohol, and I’d already drank so much water in the DVC lounge, I was afraid more liquid might make me float away!

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How was it? Deeeeee-licious. This was soooo good! A little heavy for a hot day, but the pound cake was moist on the inside and griddled a golden brown on the outside. And the peach compote and sweet corn gelato were the perfect compliments! Plus it was actually pretty big for $4.50! 10/10, would recommend.

Then an Easter egg hunt was in order! We looked around the whole of the Canada pavilion, in and out of all of the stores and all around, and then we finally spotted it!

WARNING: EGG LOCATION AHEAD

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(It was in Victoria Gardens, tucked away! I told you they're not easy to spot!)

Our Canadian egg hunt victory buoying us along, we decided to make a quick pit stop at the UK bathrooms and then search for the UK egg. And wouldn’t you know it: we looked EVERYWHERE in that stinkin’ pavilion and couldn’t find the Easter egg. It ended up being the only one we couldn’t find, so we just placed that sticker last :hilarious:. We did, however, find Spike!

WARNING: SPIKE LOCATION AHEAD

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He was in the Shakespeare Garden, which was beautifully landscaped and had Shakespeare quotes on plaques throughout. The English major/book editor in me insisted on pics of my favs:

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COMING SOON! More topiaries!
 
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carriehpotter

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
APRIL 7, SUNDAY: CHECK-IN DAY AND EPCOT Part 6

It was finally nearing the time of our first fast pass, so we made our way back into FW. I snapped more pictures of the different topiaries along the way…

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And we spotted a certain bee by his pal, Daisy…

WARNING: SPIKE LOCATION AHEAD

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On our way into The Land, we saw this very cool, but also very sad, “topiary”:

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(The penguins were crafted from waste found in their habitats...:cry:)

Once inside The Land, I helped my mom find a table to hang out at in Sunshine Seasons (all the way to one side, in the “winter” section) because it was time for me to do my only solo FP of the trip:

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My mom gets terrible motion sickness (and I’m starting to develop it, as well, but I’m fighting it with Dramamine and Scopolamine patches!), so I didn’t make FPs for any “thrill” rides this trip. I didn’t want to constantly be leaving her on benches waiting for me. So Soarin’ ended up being the only “thrilling” FP I made, just because it worked out timing-wise.

It was a quick wait, and then after a polite special request, I was waiting here for my flight:

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After another great flight, I found my mom so we could figure out what we wanted to eat for dinner from Sunshine Seasons!

IN PART 7, we have a yummy dinner and ride everyone’s favorite gardening propaganda boat ride!
 

carriehpotter

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
APRIL 7, SUNDAY: CHECK-IN DAY AND EPCOT Part 7

My mom had gone to check out the options while I was soarin’, so she already knew what she wanted when I got back! So off I went to pick what I wanted and to order for us. We had something special planned later in the night, so I was told “no dessert!” but, well, you’ll see why that didn’t work out in a second.

At this point, I guess it was just because it was later in the day, The Land was NOT crowded (the entire park hadn’t been crowded, even though it had been listed as a 9 on the crowd calendar), so not all of the bays were open. I decided to just get something at the Asian bay like my mom. Then my eye was drawn to something so pretty, I had to find out what was in it: the seasonal cupcake. I ended up also getting that (orders of “no dessert!” ringing in my head) and made my way back to our table. At my mom’s knowing look, I knew she’d never expected me to get out of Sunshine Seasons with no dessert.

Mollified, we dug in!

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(Mom got the Sweet and Sour Chicken with Jasmine rice. She enjoyed it.)

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(I got the Mongolian Beef with veggie fried rice. Very yummy, but the beef was far spicier than I expected, especially for Disney.)

And then we shared my impulse buy, the Earl Grey Honey Cupcake. It was heavenly

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(This bee cupcake was awesome. The icing was a honey buttercream and the cake was earl grey. The center was some sort of orange filling, maybe a curd? It was soooo good. Another plus was that the bee's wings were made of almond slivers, so we couldn't have gotten it if my dad was there—good timing!)

With our bellies pleasantly full, it was time for our Living with the Land fastpass. Of course, as I said earlier, The Land was dead, so the standby wait was 5 min. But we were already within our window and had no plans to make other FPs, so we went through the FP line anyway. We had a longer walk than standby :hilarious:. But sometimes it’s the principal of the thing.

I really enjoy Living with the Land. It feels like the last vestiges of old EPCOT Center, a place that I got to experience, but don’t really remember (I was only 4 and 6). Plus, I do love that it’s an actual functioning lab and greenhouse—how cool!

Unfortunately, the people in the row in front of us were SO annoying. I know it’s something that will never change and that Disney can’t really police, but people who talk loudly through rides and shows are, to me, the absolute worst guests. These people not only talked through the whole ride and made fun of it, but the son (probably 9 or 10) kept leaning over and touching the set pieces as we went by. He literally ran his fingers through the sand in the greenhouse. The mom told him to stop all of once. If you know he does stuff like that, why let him sit on the outside?! I know it was none of my concern, but the family was already so annoying, that was like the cherry on top. The number one theme park rule is to keep your arms and legs inside the ride vehicle at all times, after all!

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But beyond the annoying family, I still enjoyed our soothing ride through what my dad likes to call “gardening propaganda.”

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UP NEXT: We meet some emotions and a personal healthcare companion and take the first of many rides on Spaceship Earth!
 

carriehpotter

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
APRIL 7, SUNDAY: CHECK-IN DAY AND EPCOT Part 8

After our time living with the land, we still had some time to kill before our final FP of the day. So we decided to check the wait times for Joy and Sadness. My mom has never met them, and I only did once when I went on that ill-fated trip with my BFF where I tore my ACL (I actually tore my ACL later on the day we met the emotions—so I was really living on the edge meeting them again). We peeked in on their line, and it wasn’t long at all! Even when my friend B and I (almost) rope-dropped them (we did so right after Soarin’ because Inside Out is one of B’s fav movies), the line was still forty-ish minutes. This was maybe fifteen, and that’s only because they took a break midway through! I’ll take it! We chatted with the nice people behind us in line about DVC (they were also members and our DVC Member backpack gave us away!), and then it was our turn!

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(Sadness wouldn’t let go of my hand, even when she was signing my autograph book.)

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(Just me and two of my favorite emotions…)

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(Then we graciously let my mom join us!)

All in all, this is one of my fav M&Gs. Joy is always so fun and bouncy, and Sadness is adorable beyond compare. Plus their set-up is great! If you find a short line, I highly recommend it!

Once we were done emoting, we noticed that there was literally no one in line for Baymax, so we hurried right over! But we didn’t have the same success as we did with Joy and Sadness. The meet and greet with Baymax is always a little awkward, since he can’t talk or move very well, but this one was even more so than usual. Usually he goes in for a hug or fist bump, or, you know, actually moves. But our Baymax that day just stood there, still as a statue, while we awkwardly arranged ourselves around him for a picture. I honestly was worried about Baymax's “friend.” And the photographer did not wait until we were ready to take the picture. But then we walked away and he finally moved and the CM handler and PP photographer both started laughing, so, who knows?

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(The most awkward pic ever…)

Then it was time for our first ride of many on Spaceship Earth! As I said in the pre-trip report, I made a ton of fastpasses for this, because I wasn’t 100% sure I’d get to ride it again in its current iteration, which I love.

Usually when we ride this, my dad and I take the front and my mom the back, but this time, we both got put in the front. For us taller ladies with more…assets…it was just a tad tight. But we still enjoyed it, of course! We thanked the Phoenicians, and got stuck for a while by this guy:

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I tend not to take pictures on rides, just because I want to enjoy them myself, and I don’t want to bug anyone (I only usually do it if we’re stuck or in the last row). But we were here long enough that I didn’t feel bad, lol.

After our journey through time, it was time for something my mom and I had been looking forward to: the Frozen Ever After Dessert Party! This party comes with savories and desserts, unlimited alcoholic beverages, a table with chairs, prime viewing locations of Illuminations, and an after-hours ride on Frozen Ever After—everything one could ever want! We did this once when it was still the Illuminations Sparkling Dessert Party, and then again on our Dec-Jan trip once it had been converted to Frozen-themed. The food changed up a bit, but it stayed at around the same price as the original and added the perk of the after-hours ride.

I know this is probably a controversial opinion, but we actually love the dessert parties. Why? We love Disney’s nighttime shows. What we don’t love is having to claim a spot an hour or two in advance to get a good view. I know people sometimes luck into good spots right before the show, but why take the chance? So whenever we plan a WDW vacation now, we always leave room in the budget for dessert parties and dining packages. It’s a nice peace of mind that we can continue to enjoy the park up until the party time. And we’ve never been rained out (*KNOCK ON WOOD!! KNOCK ON WOOD!!* I just know I’ve jinxed us now…).

Anyway, one thing that was different at the party this time compared to our Christmas trip was that, since we were just two, we got seated with another family. Not the end of the world, but my mom and I aren’t always the biggest small talkers, especially at the end of a long day. The family we sat with (grandparents and a little girl) were nice enough, but they kept saying wrong information about WDW and getting names wrong, and OH BOY was it hard to bite my tongue. But I did!

The lighting is super low at this event (just a little blue-tinged lantern at each table) so I didn’t take any pics of the food (I would have had to use the flash, and that'd be jarring to those around us). Here’s a link to DFB’s review of the party; most of the food is the same and the drinks all are.

My mom and I’s fav last time was the cheese fondue with bread chunks and pitas. I dunno what they put in that fondue but IT. IS. GOOD. We basically gorged ourselves on that, and we got many glasses of the Sangria (champagne, Blue Curacao, pineapple juice, and triple sec) and the Summertime Celebration Margarita (tequila, Strawberry Monin, lemonade, and lime juice) from the bar! They also have a ton of non-alcoholic options, including POG juice!

Besides the main spread where they have the fondue, almond cookies, macaroons (both French and coconut), cupcakes, key lime tarts, sugar-free lemon curd, and fresh fruit, they also have a nitro station and a warm dessert station. The nitro station was weird. It was, I think, Olaf’s Birthday cake? And you got a piece of vanilla cake, and the nitro addition was some sort of vanilla whipped cream (it wasn’t ice cream). I didn’t really enjoy it over Christmas, so I didn’t get it this time. I did, however, get a serving each of the Warm Cottage Pudding and Double Chocolate S’mores Cake at the warm dessert station. Sooooooo good. And there’s a CM at the ready to add a fresh scoop of vanilla ice cream!

After everyone’s had time to get and enjoy their goodies, CMs come around with glasses that make lights (and fireworks) look like snowflakes. They’re very cool, but I didn’t wear them during the show because I wanted an “authentic” experience since that was possibly my last time seeing Illuminations (it won’t be, hopefully, since it’s ending after my dad and I go in Sept., but the ending date hadn’t been announced at that point).

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(A tired nerd ready for her third favorite Disney nighttime show!)

Soon enough, the lights were “blown” out (I love that effect!) and it was time for the show. One thing that bummed me out was that, for some reason, the single fireworks weren’t shot from the countries either time, and instead from boats surrounding the main barges in the lagoon. Oh well. It was as pretty as ever, anyway.

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After the show ended (tears possibly running down my cheeks because “We Go On” gets to me, OK?), we sat for a few minutes and then the CMs rounded us up to walk against the crowd to get to FEA. The party takes place to the left of Disney Traders, the store at the start of WS on the Mexico side. We followed their mini blue lightsabers all the way to FEA, and as per usual, my mom and I were the last ones in line! But it was really cool to see the queue deserted!

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We enjoyed our journey, which our ride picture shows (though I still think this pic is so dumb):

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Then it was time to walk slowly out of a mostly-deserted park toward the International Gateway.

COMING UP in the FINAL (thank god, right?) part of our first day: pics of an empty Epcot and our first minor road block.
 

carriehpotter

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
APRIL 7, SUNDAY: CHECK-IN DAY AND EPCOT Final Part

On the way out, we took a bunch of (bad) pictures:

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And then we made our way back to Beach Club, ready for bed. But first, we stopped in the Marketplace to buy our reusable mugs. We’re a big believer in these mugs, as we’re almost always thirsty when we get back at night (and I like coffee in the mornings), and it does even out if you use them a few times each (plus, we like the convenience of not having to buy a drink cup every time).

With new mugs in hand (my mom was super jazzed about the new Pixar design with Buzz Lightyear—her fav!—on it), we made our way back to the room.

We got ready for bed and I went to pull out the pull-out couch and…the bed wasn’t made. At this point, it was almost midnight, we were exhausted (I hadn’t had an actual night’s sleep in two days), and my brain just did not compute. The pull-out bed has always been made whenever we’ve stayed at any other DVC resort (or even at every other non-Disney hotel across the country, for that matter), so we were surprised. My mom called housekeeping, and what followed was the only negative experience we had with a CM at BC for the whole trip (the rest were beyond lovely). My mom told the CM on the phone that our pull-out wasn’t made, and she said, “Oh, there’s stuff to make it up in the closet.” So I went to check, and sure enough, there were two top sheets (which is how they make up the pull-out), a blanket, and pillows.

But here’s the thing: neither of us had ever made up a pull-out couch or used a top sheet as a base sheet, and at that point it was after midnight. So my mom asked that someone come to make the bed in the morning. Well, the amount of sass she apparently got from this lady: she was so taken aback that we couldn’t just make the bed ourselves. Listen, I get it, and maybe we were acting a bit entitled, but if the local Motel 6 doesn’t expect you to make up your own pull-out bed, why should a DVC resort expect you to? I know it’s “different” from regular rooms, but when it comes down to it, it’s still a hotel room. Hotels don’t ask people to make up their own beds.

So my mom politely and firmly insisted that someone come to make the bed in the morning. She would have asked for someone to come that night, but we had no idea how long it’d take and we were genuinely beat. Finally, the CM agreed (apparently quite grudgingly…I have no clue what her issue was), and I reluctantly climbed into the queen with my mom. We’re fine sleeping together in a queen, but neither of us can stretch out as much as we’d like, so it was another restless night of sleep ahead.

We figured out after the fact that perhaps the reason it wasn’t made up was because there was only two of us and not three as usual, but it seems pretty weird to me to assume the two guests will want to sleep in the same bed, right?

Oh well. It was just a weird thing that has never happened to us before, and an odd way to end the day. Still an amazing first day!!

UP NEXT: Finally, it’s the next day! First, we have breakfast with a couple princesses and their beaus!
 

Darstarr

Well-Known Member
Hmmmm....
Come to think of it, I always make the pullout. I had no clue that they will make it ahead of time. How do you get the couch to close with all the bedding on it? Or do you leave it open? I’m a closer, I like the space, and the ability to sit on the couch!
 

carriehpotter

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Hmmmm....
Come to think of it, I always make the pullout. I had no clue that they will make it ahead of time. How do you get the couch to close with all the bedding on it? Or do you leave it open? I’m a closer, I like the space, and the ability to sit on the couch!
That's so interesting! We're never had to in 18 years! That's why it caught us so off guard. And the bed closes no problem with the sheets and blanket on it (we're also closers). And there's a spot for the pillows where it folds down (in the image below, stolen from Google, the pillow "cubbies" are under the base of the section that's pulled out). I wonder if it's just different for each DVC resort?

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carriehpotter

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
APRIL 8, MONDAY: EPCOT, again

We were dragging the next morning, since neither of us slept as well as we’d hoped (we’re just not built for sharing beds anymore, I guess), but luckily our breakfast ADR was nice and close (as a deference to my mom, I only planned 1 breakfast ADR not within walking distance of our room :joyfull:). We hurried to get ready and then we rushed out of Beach Club down what we were calling our secret pathway (we only saw one other group use it once for the whole trip) and around Crescent Lake to Trattoria al Forno at Boardwalk for…the Bon Voyage Adventure Breakfast!

We’d done this over Christmas, but it was on one of the days I was so sick I couldn’t taste anything, so I was excited for this redo! We checked in and waited outside for our table to be ready (it was a gorgeous morning!). My mom practiced taking photos of me so she’d do OK with the characters (she’s not the most tech savvy, so she was worried about getting good photos…but I think she did fabulously all trip! Though they're all vertical...sorry :banghead:).

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(I look so pleased, don’t I? What a fake smile...)

Soon enough, we were called in and seated. We had a great view of the door where the characters entered after being announced, and we were right in their path when they came in! Which got me a big smile, shoulder pat, and “Happy Birthday!” when Eugene (he’ll always be Eugene to me), OK—fine Disney, why give him a real name anyway?—Flynn, walked in. He was the first announced and the first to come around. While we waited for him (we were seated about midway through the rotation), we got our frying pan of pastries and our menus.

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(This was so yummy…like a soft, flaky cookie coated in sugar. It reminded me of a type of Italian cookie I’ve had before, which I can’t remember the name of…)

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(I think there was apple compote in this…super sweet!)

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(The chocolate twist was divine!)

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(Just enjoying the yumminess!)

I decided to go with King Triton’s Shipwreck al Forno for two reasons: 1) It was what I’d gotten over Christmas and I hadn’t tasted a bite and 2) It still sounded so yummy! It was a calzone with scrambled eggs, bell peppers, salami, bacon, sausage, a blend of cheeses, and “Sunday gravy.” My mom got Ursula’s Cauldron, which was breakfast potatoes, fennel sausage, fonduta, and crispy onions. She’d gotten the Tower of Pancakes over Christmas (these huge, thick pancakes), but she said they were dry. Not sure if that’s the norm, but figured I’d pass it on!

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(When they bring the Shipwreck al Forno out, it has a cool Triton speared through it, but it’s sharp, so they take it away. But of course they let you grab a picture first!)

It was SO. GOOD. Savory, decadent, flavorful. It was one of those meals that you keep eating even when you’re full because it’s so good. I was worried all the different ingredients could clash, but nope. So complimentary!

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(My mom took this pic of her food with her phone. She was very proud of herself, and made me doubt my camera abilities! :hilarious:)

My mom liked hers, but it also wasn’t her favorite meal ever. I don’t remember her exact complaint, but I know she wished it had more of something and less of something else. I know, super helpful, right? :banghead:

Then it was time for characters to start coming around! When Rapunzel enters, she meets Flynn midway through the restaurant (so it was literally right next to us!) and they quickly go around the restaurant, asking people what their “dreams” are. So when they got to us, I said “Have the best birthday ever!” and my mom said “Help her have the best birthday ever!” Lol. We’re so original.

Finally, Flynn came for our actual M&G. He was so nice! He asked what our plans for my birthday were, and I said that my birthday was on Wednesday, but our plans for today were traveling around the world. He got very into it, talking about things we could do “around the world” and telling us safe travels. He was great. Every time we meet Flynn, I tell my mom I’m gonna ask him to show me his smolder (as long as it’s cool with Rapunzel!), and every time, I chicken out. Oh well.

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Then Rapunzel came around. She was also fantastic! I don’t remember what we talked about, but I know Pascal came up (he’s one of my fav Disney sidekicks). Every character wished me happy birthday by name (thanks, button!).

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TBC!
 

carriehpotter

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
APRIL 8, MONDAY: EPCOT, again (continued)

During this time, Ariel and Eric had also come in and they started making the rounds. They were both sweet, though I think Eric’s friend looked a little…young? He definitely looked younger in person.

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Then Ariel insisted my mom get a picture too:

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My mom doesn’t care about getting her pic with the characters at meals, but a nice lady at the next table then randomly offered to get one of both of us with Eric (OK? I would’ve preferred any of the other three more, but sure. :hilarious: It was a nice gesture...), so of course we graciously accepted.

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Then it was back to business as usual:

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I know we talked about traveling around the world again with Eric. It always amazes me how these “friends” can skirt the line of what they will and won’t acknowledge. Like Eric agreed that there was a land of incredible countries just steps away. Too funny.

I always feel such a sense of relief when all of the characters have come around at a character meal. I don’t know why. It’s like: OK, now I can concentrate on my food. But with this meal, they came so slowly and scattered, we were basically done eating when Eric left. And I was so full.

But then our server appeared with what would be the first of many birthday treats after our meals:

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At first I thought this was a cupcake and my stomach literally turned at the thought (too full for that much sweetness), but I took a small bite to be polite. Well, it wasn’t a cupcake…it was a chocolate chip muffin with this delicious, not quite frosting (it was more like a semi-sweet coating of white chocolate but not really) on top that sparkles. And it was amazing! Perfect for breakfast!

Overall, I recommend this meal. The service is good, the food is better than your typical character breakfast (IMO), the character interaction is great, and we never felt rushed. Plus, for the little ones, whenever the couples come across each other in the restaurant, they stop and hug or flirt or chat for a second. It’s so cute. And they all interact with each other (like Rapunzel and Ariel would link arms for a few seconds and catch up). It’s a great immersive experience for a kid (and an almost 30-year-old and her mom :inlove:)!

After breakfast, we headed back to our room (we hadn’t brought our park bags with us in our rush), and it’s a good thing we did!

We get to the room and I scan my magic band. Well, nothing happens. This is the band I’d used the day before to get in, so I was perplexed. But knowing the locks are temperamental, I had my mom try (we’d tested her band the day before to make sure it worked, and it had) and it also did nothing. That’s when I realized that literally nothing was happening when we tried our bands—it wasn’t even turning red for an unsynced band. To make sure I wasn’t nuts, I tried my band at the room across the hall, and sure enough, the lock turned red. Interesting.

One of the nicest developments in the DVC universe has been the introduction of a concierge directly in the DVC building’s lobby (Boulder Ridge has one at WL and BC has one, as well). So we trooped out to the lobby and told the lovely concierge our issue. He came with me to check (I get it; he has to make sure we’re not just crazy before he calls it in!), and sure enough, it didn’t work for his key card, either. So back to the lobby we went, where he called to the main building to get someone to come with the master key (i.e. an actual physical key) to let us in. He joked that he wasn’t allowed to have a master key because it cost more than his yearly salary! He also called maintenance to replace the lock and promised that it would be done in a few hours. Fine, as long as we can get in to get our stuff!

We chilled out in the beautiful side room (with that gorgeous feature bookcase nook from an earlier post) with glasses of lemon water that was available near the elevator while we waited. I took some pictures of the art to pass the time:

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Less than ten minutes later, our hero arrived with the master key, and we were let into our room. And wouldn’t you know it—the pull-out had been made. So we decided that the housekeeper broke the door. :angelic:

We freshened up and got all of our stuff ready for the day. Our original plan had been to come back in the afternoon for a swim, but now we didn’t know if we’d be able to get into our room, so we decided not to risk it.

We made our way to Epcot using our path and we ran into a little lizard (this path was great for fans of the little Disney lizards, which I am!) that had a red pouch when it breathed. I’d never seen a lizard like that in Disney, so I had to take a pic for my dad (he and I love looking for the lizards everywhere we go! WL also has a ton of them.):

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We headed right for our first FP: the Epcot Character Spot. We’ve always found this M&G to be hit or miss, and this time was no different. This time, Mickey was great, Goofy was OK, and Minnie was indifferent to us. Other times, we’ve had the best interactions ever with Goofy here. But each “friend” is different, of course.

Mickey was excited it was my birthday, and I wished him a happy birthday, too (since the whole year is celebrating his and Minnie’s 90th birthdays). I told him I wasn’t quite as old as him, though. He agreed and “sang” happy birthday to me with his hands. So cute!

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TBC!
 

Songbird76

Well-Known Member
APRIL 7, SUNDAY: CHECK-IN DAY AND EPCOT Part 8

After our time living with the land, we still had some time to kill before our final FP of the day. So we decided to check the wait times for Joy and Sadness. My mom has never met them, and I only did once when I went on that ill-fated trip with my BFF where I tore my ACL (I actually tore my ACL later on the day we met the emotions—so I was really living on the edge meeting them again). We peeked in on their line, and it wasn’t long at all! Even when my friend B and I (almost) rope-dropped them (we did so right after Soarin’ because Inside Out is one of B’s fav movies), the line was still forty-ish minutes. This was maybe fifteen, and that’s only because they took a break midway through! I’ll take it! We chatted with the nice people behind us in line about DVC (they were also members and our DVC Member backpack gave us away!), and then it was our turn!

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(Sadness wouldn’t let go of my hand, even when she was signing my autograph book.)

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(Just me and two of my favorite emotions…)

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(Then we graciously let my mom join us!)

All in all, this is one of my fav M&Gs. Joy is always so fun and bouncy, and Sadness is adorable beyond compare. Plus their set-up is great! If you find a short line, I highly recommend it!

Once we were done emoting, we noticed that there was literally no one in line for Baymax, so we hurried right over! But we didn’t have the same success as we did with Joy and Sadness. The meet and greet with Baymax is always a little awkward, since he can’t talk or move very well, but this one was even more so than usual. Usually he goes in for a hug or fist bump, or, you know, actually moves. But our Baymax that day just stood there, still as a statue, while we awkwardly arranged ourselves around him for a picture. I honestly was worried about Baymax's “friend.” And the photographer did not wait until we were ready to take the picture. But then we walked away and he finally moved and the CM handler and PP photographer both started laughing, so, who knows?

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(The most awkward pic ever…)

Then it was time for our first ride of many on Spaceship Earth! As I said in the pre-trip report, I made a ton of fastpasses for this, because I wasn’t 100% sure I’d get to ride it again in its current iteration, which I love.

Usually when we ride this, my dad and I take the front and my mom the back, but this time, we both got put in the front. For us taller ladies with more…assets…it was just a tad tight. But we still enjoyed it, of course! We thanked the Phoenicians, and got stuck for a while by this guy:

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I tend not to take pictures on rides, just because I want to enjoy them myself, and I don’t want to bug anyone (I only usually do it if we’re stuck or in the last row). But we were here long enough that I didn’t feel bad, lol.

After our journey through time, it was time for something my mom and I had been looking forward to: the Frozen Ever After Dessert Party! This party comes with savories and desserts, unlimited alcoholic beverages, a table with chairs, prime viewing locations of Illuminations, and an after-hours ride on Frozen Ever After—everything one could ever want! We did this once when it was still the Illuminations Sparkling Dessert Party, and then again on our Dec-Jan trip once it had been converted to Frozen-themed. The food changed up a bit, but it stayed at around the same price as the original and added the perk of the after-hours ride.

I know this is probably a controversial opinion, but we actually love the dessert parties. Why? We love Disney’s nighttime shows. What we don’t love is having to claim a spot an hour or two in advance to get a good view. I know people sometimes luck into good spots right before the show, but why take the chance? So whenever we plan a WDW vacation now, we always leave room in the budget for dessert parties and dining packages. It’s a nice peace of mind that we can continue to enjoy the park up until the party time. And we’ve never been rained out (*KNOCK ON WOOD!! KNOCK ON WOOD!!* I just know I’ve jinxed us now…).

Anyway, one thing that was different at the party this time compared to our Christmas trip was that, since we were just two, we got seated with another family. Not the end of the world, but my mom and I aren’t always the biggest small talkers, especially at the end of a long day. The family we sat with (grandparents and a little girl) were nice enough, but they kept saying wrong information about WDW and getting names wrong, and OH BOY was it hard to bite my tongue. But I did!

The lighting is super low at this event (just a little blue-tinged lantern at each table) so I didn’t take any pics of the food (I would have had to use the flash, and that'd be jarring to those around us). Here’s a link to DFB’s review of the party; most of the food is the same and the drinks all are.

My mom and I’s fav last time was the cheese fondue with bread chunks and pitas. I dunno what they put in that fondue but IT. IS. GOOD. We basically gorged ourselves on that, and we got many glasses of the Sangria (champagne, Blue Curacao, pineapple juice, and triple sec) and the Summertime Celebration Margarita (tequila, Strawberry Monin, lemonade, and lime juice) from the bar! They also have a ton of non-alcoholic options, including POG juice!

Besides the main spread where they have the fondue, almond cookies, macaroons (both French and coconut), cupcakes, key lime tarts, sugar-free lemon curd, and fresh fruit, they also have a nitro station and a warm dessert station. The nitro station was weird. It was, I think, Olaf’s Birthday cake? And you got a piece of vanilla cake, and the nitro addition was some sort of vanilla whipped cream (it wasn’t ice cream). I didn’t really enjoy it over Christmas, so I didn’t get it this time. I did, however, get a serving each of the Warm Cottage Pudding and Double Chocolate S’mores Cake at the warm dessert station. Sooooooo good. And there’s a CM at the ready to add a fresh scoop of vanilla ice cream!

After everyone’s had time to get and enjoy their goodies, CMs come around with glasses that make lights (and fireworks) look like snowflakes. They’re very cool, but I didn’t wear them during the show because I wanted an “authentic” experience since that was possibly my last time seeing Illuminations (it won’t be, hopefully, since it’s ending after my dad and I go in Sept., but the ending date hadn’t been announced at that point).

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(A tired nerd ready for her third favorite Disney nighttime show!)

Soon enough, the lights were “blown” out (I love that effect!) and it was time for the show. One thing that bummed me out was that, for some reason, the single fireworks weren’t shot from the countries either time, and instead from boats surrounding the main barges in the lagoon. Oh well. It was as pretty as ever, anyway.

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After the show ended (tears possibly running down my cheeks because “We Go On” gets to me, OK?), we sat for a few minutes and then the CMs rounded us up to walk against the crowd to get to FEA. The party takes place to the left of Disney Traders, the store at the start of WS on the Mexico side. We followed their mini blue lightsabers all the way to FEA, and as per usual, my mom and I were the last ones in line! But it was really cool to see the queue deserted!

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We enjoyed our journey, which our ride picture shows (though I still think this pic is so dumb):

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Then it was time to walk slowly out of a mostly-deserted park toward the International Gateway.

COMING UP in the FINAL (thank god, right?) part of our first day: pics of an empty Epcot and our first minor road block.
Oh man, I feel sorry for the woman behind camera guy. You get one shot at a ride photo, and some guy is blocking your face! Why do people insist on throwing their hands up or holding something up that will ruin another guest's photo??
 

carriehpotter

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I've read other people having problems like this with the door. Apparently they all have batteries inside the lock/scanner thingy, and they eventually die and they need to be replaced.
That makes sense. Because it was just dead!

Oh man, I feel sorry for the woman behind camera guy. You get one shot at a ride photo, and some guy is blocking your face! Why do people insist on throwing their hands up or holding something up that will ruin another guest's photo??
I know--I thought the same thing! Was he getting such great video or pictures that he had to ruin that family's photo (and possibly block their view of certain things)? Geez.
 

Spash007

Well-Known Member
APRIL 8, MONDAY: EPCOT, again

We were dragging the next morning, since neither of us slept as well as we’d hoped (we’re just not built for sharing beds anymore, I guess), but luckily our breakfast ADR was nice and close (as a deference to my mom, I only planned 1 breakfast ADR not within walking distance of our room :joyfull:). We hurried to get ready and then we rushed out of Beach Club down what we were calling our secret pathway (we only saw one other group use it once for the whole trip) and around Crescent Lake to Trattoria al Forno at Boardwalk for…the Bon Voyage Adventure Breakfast!

We’d done this over Christmas, but it was on one of the days I was so sick I couldn’t taste anything, so I was excited for this redo! We checked in and waited outside for our table to be ready (it was a gorgeous morning!). My mom practiced taking photos of me so she’d do OK with the characters (she’s not the most tech savvy, so she was worried about getting good photos…but I think she did fabulously all trip! Though they're all vertical...sorry :banghead:).

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(I look so pleased, don’t I? What a fake smile...)

Soon enough, we were called in and seated. We had a great view of the door where the characters entered after being announced, and we were right in their path when they came in! Which got me a big smile, shoulder pat, and “Happy Birthday!” when Eugene (he’ll always be Eugene to me), OK—fine Disney, why give him a real name anyway?—Flynn, walked in. He was the first announced and the first to come around. While we waited for him (we were seated about midway through the rotation), we got our frying pan of pastries and our menus.

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(This was so yummy…like a soft, flaky cookie coated in sugar. It reminded me of a type of Italian cookie I’ve had before, which I can’t remember the name of…)

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(I think there was apple compote in this…super sweet!)

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(The chocolate twist was divine!)

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(Just enjoying the yumminess!)

I decided to go with King Triton’s Shipwreck al Forno for two reasons: 1) It was what I’d gotten over Christmas and I hadn’t tasted a bite and 2) It still sounded so yummy! It was a calzone with scrambled eggs, bell peppers, salami, bacon, sausage, a blend of cheeses, and “Sunday gravy.” My mom got Ursula’s Cauldron, which was breakfast potatoes, fennel sausage, fonduta, and crispy onions. She’d gotten the Tower of Pancakes over Christmas (these huge, thick pancakes), but she said they were dry. Not sure if that’s the norm, but figured I’d pass it on!

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(When they bring the Shipwreck al Forno out, it has a cool Triton speared through it, but it’s sharp, so they take it away. But of course they let you grab a picture first!)

It was SO. GOOD. Savory, decadent, flavorful. It was one of those meals that you keep eating even when you’re full because it’s so good. I was worried all the different ingredients could clash, but nope. So complimentary!

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(My mom took this pic of her food with her phone. She was very proud of herself, and made me doubt my camera abilities! :hilarious:)

My mom liked hers, but it also wasn’t her favorite meal ever. I don’t remember her exact complaint, but I know she wished it had more of something and less of something else. I know, super helpful, right? :banghead:

Then it was time for characters to start coming around! When Rapunzel enters, she meets Flynn midway through the restaurant (so it was literally right next to us!) and they quickly go around the restaurant, asking people what their “dreams” are. So when they got to us, I said “Have the best birthday ever!” and my mom said “Help her have the best birthday ever!” Lol. We’re so original.

Finally, Flynn came for our actual M&G. He was so nice! He asked what our plans for my birthday were, and I said that my birthday was on Wednesday, but our plans for today were traveling around the world. He got very into it, talking about things we could do “around the world” and telling us safe travels. He was great. Every time we meet Flynn, I tell my mom I’m gonna ask him to show me his smolder (as long as it’s cool with Rapunzel!), and every time, I chicken out. Oh well.

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Then Rapunzel came around. She was also fantastic! I don’t remember what we talked about, but I know Pascal came up (he’s one of my fav Disney sidekicks). Every character wished me happy birthday by name (thanks, button!).

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TBC!
Completely agree about Trattoria al Forno. The atmosphere there does feel very different than some other character meals, which is a nice break. It's nice too to have a sit-down meal and not a buffet! Is your mom a fan of onions? I had Ursula's Cauldron and loved it, but I also really enjoy onions and those were definitely the dominant flavor. For something missing - maybe salt? Beyond the onion taste, it pretty much tasted like cheese, which was fine by me, but it could have been considered a bit plain.

Something interesting is when I was writing my TR I was trying to see what was in Ursula's Cauldron, and I didn't see it on the menu. Now I see it's back online though, so I wonder if there was a lot of demand for it?
 

carriehpotter

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Completely agree about Trattoria al Forno. The atmosphere there does feel very different than some other character meals, which is a nice break. It's nice too to have a sit-down meal and not a buffet! Is your mom a fan of onions? I had Ursula's Cauldron and loved it, but I also really enjoy onions and those were definitely the dominant flavor. For something missing - maybe salt? Beyond the onion taste, it pretty much tasted like cheese, which was fine by me, but it could have been considered a bit plain.

Something interesting is when I was writing my TR I was trying to see what was in Ursula's Cauldron, and I didn't see it on the menu. Now I see it's back online though, so I wonder if there was a lot of demand for it?
Wow, I've been gone for a hot minute! Sorry about the super late reply. :( My mom likes onions, so I'm not sure that was it. She genuinely couldn't put her finger on it at the time.

I've definitely seen it being on and off the menu. I wonder if it's due to the ingredients' availability? Or maybe it was demand, like you said. 🤷‍♀️
 

carriehpotter

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Wow, I am so sorry about the delay with this report, all! Real life got in the way hard. My grandpa was in and out of the hospital, the rehab place we sent him to that seemed great ended up being awful (to the point they're afraid we'll sue them), and now he's in a new rehab place, doing fine but stubborn as anything! Anyway, back to our regularly scheduled trip report, which I desperately want to finish before my dad and I leave for our trip in 43 days!

APRIL 8, MONDAY: EPCOT, again (continued)

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(The Goofy PP photographer was pretty awful, honestly. Didn't move at all, seemed annoyed we were there, and did such a great job making sure to get the blurriest, darkest, farthest away shots possible...)

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And just like that, we were done! It may seem like a wasted FP, but the wait time posted was 45 min, and we were in and out in 5!

After that, we decided to take a rest inside what used to be Innoventions. In the area where Character Spot lets out, they’ve set up a lot of comfy couches (with USB outlets built in!) and a bunch of tables (probably because Electric Umbrella is right next door). It was HOT and HUMID out (which we’re not as used to, as we always usually try to travel to Disney in the less humid, slightly less hot months), so we thought AC was a good idea. I charged my phone and we sat and chatted about our trip so far while we hydrated. It was a nice little break.

Then we decided to head over to Club Cool. Unfortunately, my mom is wise to Beverly, so she doesn’t fall for my suggestions to try it anymore! It was super crowded in there, so I only took a few sips of Beebo (my fav) and then we left. It was time for our next FP anyway: Spaceship Earth!

This time, since we were squished on our last ride, we decided to split up and say we were 1 and 1 (we thought that would be easier than requesting two separate rows). So I go first, and then the next thing I know, the CM is holding my mom up and she ends up like 4 rows behind me, with all empty rows in the middle. I was bummed, but it was also fun turning around and trying to catch sight of her in the dark. Because I was by myself, I made a silly face for the camera, and was not disappointed in the results:

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After our journey through time, we decided to skip our next FP (it was for Journey into Imagination, which we’d ridden standby the day before) and instead do the Visa Card M&G. We haven’t done this since it moved from Innoventions to right next to the Imagination Pavilion where the Figment M&G used to be. Anyone remember that? This wasn’t the Dreamfinder w/ the Figment puppet, but a human-size (actually pretty huge) Figment. I miss that M&G, since I love me some Figgy! I’m actually sort of surprised they haven’t brought it back in some form, since they push Figment merch so much during the festivals. Then again, this is the company that got rid of the Duffy M&G in the one single location across the resort where he met (where Pluto or Daisy meet now at the entrance to WS) in 2015. I adore Duffy (I got him right when he was brought back as Duffy; he’d originally been introduced as “the Disney Bear” and flopped) and have pretty much all his outfits. He’s my travel companion whenever I travel! I also have Shellie May. My dream is to travel to Tokyo Disney, where they actually appreciate my boy Duffy :hilarious:.

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Anyway, I digress. There was practically no line for the Visa M&G, which ended up being one of the best experiences of the trip! First off, the CM (whose name I can no longer remember, but for whom we wrote an Applause-O-Gram back at BC before we checked out) was so super friendly and lovely, and he serenaded me with “Happy Birthday” while we waited (he also had a beautiful voice…Disney entertainment, take note!). Then we were let in and the “surprise” characters were Mickey and Goofy (I do miss the first few times we did this, when it was actual rare characters like Uncle Scrooge and Clarabelle Cow). Well, this M&G would have been the best of the whole trip if not for one that happened the next day—stay tuned because this TR’s title will start to make sense!

Mickey and Goofy were so energetic and funny. I made the same joke to this Mickey about how I was old, but not as old as him. Well, he completely agreed and started hobbling around like an old man with a cane. It was hilarious. The PP photographer also captured a ton of shots and moved around to get them, which was nice. All in all, they took a ton of time with us and were super interactive. I highly recommend doing this if you have the Disney Visa card (and I have a feeling most of us do :geek:).

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TBC…
 

carriehpotter

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
APRIL 8, MONDAY: EPCOT, again (continued)

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After final hugs, we departed from our new friends, and headed back into Future World. On the way, I saw the popcorn stand with the different flavors. When we were there over Christmas, they were out of all the flavors but buffalo every time we tried, but this time they had all three (buffalo, cheddar, and sour cream and chive). You have the option of getting one flavor or mixing all of them together. We chose to mix all of them, which was a mistake, because it was really hard to discern separate flavors, even when eating individual kernels. I’d recommend picking one flavor.

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Then we decided to cross another item off our F&G list: violet lemonade! I’d never had the trendsetting drink, but I dutifully order one for me and one for my mom. It was pretty delicious! (They were out of flowers for the top, though).

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Since we were in the area, I also hopped back to the Citrus Blossom to get us two more orange wine slushies. We’d liked it that much the day before!

We sat on a bench right outside of Disney Traders, at the start of WS, and enjoyed our cool beverages. The skies had started to darken, and we kept shooting suspicious glances up at it. Sure enough, it started to rain, and we made a dash into the store. Since we were so close, we beat a lot of people in, and were able to hole up in a corner for a while. It poured for a good ten minutes, and then cleared right back up.

We emerged and I decided that since we were right there, I’d take some pictures of World Showcase. We always tell ourselves we’re going to slow down and enjoy things, and we always end up going, going, going! But this trip was the first time we (mostly) stuck to our take it easy plan.

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